CNN has been polling Americans about possible foreign threats for 30 years now. Back in November, 1985, 32 percent of Americans viewed the Soviet Union as a "very serious" threat, while 44 percent called it "moderately serious." Considering that the Soviets had 29,000 nuclear weapons, this was perhaps not out of proportion.
This week, CNN released a poll asking the same question about Iran. According to this poll, 48 percent of Americans view Iran as a "very serious" threat, while 33 percent say it is a "moderately
That's right, Americans are more afraid of Iran today than they were of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. For this utter nonsense I mainly blame the Republican Presidential candidates, who competed at every debate to make the most extreme statements about Iran. Their Israeli friends should also take some blame, since they have tried to gin up support for a bombing raid by wildly exaggerating the danger Iran poses to America.
Iran has no nuclear weapons, and even if they succeed in making a few, we will still have about a thousand times as many. True, they could attack some oil tankers and send the price of oil way up, until we finished blasting all their coastal installations into tiny pieces. Or send a few terrorists. But how does that threat compare to the threat of nuclear Armageddon?